Blind Faith - Blind Fear
Blind Faith - The Movie
A Deadly Story of Prejudice, Persecution,
Denial, Fear, and Suicide involving a black homosexual who could
just as easily be any Hypoic today.
I just finished watching a movie, Blind Faith. It told a story
of a young black man, Charlie, charged with the murder of a white
youth in Van Cortland Park in the 50's. This picture moved me
to redouble my efforts in asserting the Hypoism paradigm of addictions
and all its implications in the face of the powerful, bigoted,
prejudiced, and fearful people who would ignore it, censor it,
hate it, and fear it. The parallels between the movie and my current
battles were striking and mournful.
Charlie, whose father, Charles, was a cop in the Bronx, who
aspired to becoming the first black police chief, was being tried
for the capital murder of a white youth. Most of the film took
place in the courtroom with effective flashbacks. Charlie was
defended by his father's brother, John Williams, a well respected
black defense lawyer. The judge was white as was the all male
jury. In fact, the only blacks in the courtroom were Charlie and
Half way through the trial, it was discovered that there had
been another murder in Van Cortland park the same night. The victim
was a black youth. John Williams and the boy's uncle, Eddie, a
pot smoking musician living in Greenwich Village, visited the
home of the dead black man's mother. Eddie recognized a picture
of the murdered boy, David, from visits made by him and Charlie
to some of Eddie's gigs and yanked John from the house. He realized
the two black young men were lovers, making the picture of what
happened that night clearer.
When John confronted Charlie on this, Charlie tearfully related
the real story of the night of the murders, but refused to soil
his family name by testifying to the story in court. The story
unfolded that he and David were in the park saying goodbye after
a weekend together. A mob of drunk white men saw them together
and chased them, yelling, "queers." They caught David
and killed him. Charlie ran, but was caught by one of the white
men, wrestled him to the ground, and strangled his attacker. The
mob preceded to beat him up just before the cops, alerted to the
scuffle in the park by a black lady whose apartment overlooked
the scene. Charlie was arrested by cops from his father's precinct
after which he was brought to the station house where, without
being given his rights, and superficially being represented by
a white lawyer who happened to be present on his arrival, confessed.
John went to Charlie's home and related the actual story to Charles
who refused to believe it, "My boy is a real man. He's not
that [a homosexual]. He's not that. I brought him up to be a decent
man that people will respect." Charles subsequently refused
to make his son share the real story in court, too embarrassed
to save his son's life at the expense of admitting he was gay.
Charles believed that if Charlie's homosexuality became known
in the force, he would lose his position and maybe even his badge,
"This badge is what makes me part of THEM."
At the trial, all the marauding white boys testified against
Charlie. The lone black women testified on Charlie's behalf, saying
she saw him being chased by some white boys in the park and probably
killed one of them in self defense. The boy didn't testify for
himself, and he was found guilty and sentenced to death. All appeals
were in vain and the execution became imminent. Unbeknownst to
Charles, three days before his electrocution, Charlie hanged himself
in his jail cell, "My sickness tempted me and I hurt everybody's
life. I'm so sorry about my illness,"[referring to his homosexuality],
while simultaneously Charles was finally asking John to tell the
judge the whole story and to save his son's life.
In the epilogue, John characterized Charlie's father with,
"He never took pride in who he was, only in what he wanted
The movie ended with John Williams deeply involved in the civil
rights and gay liberation movements fifteen to twenty years later,
long after many more blacks and homosexuals met similar lonely
and disgusting fates at the hands of white and homophobic bigots
and fearful acquiescent Uncle Toms and closet gays. It was John's
blind faith, like mine, that the movie was named after.
The parallels to the embryonic addict rights movement of today
with this film are striking, from the ignorance about the biological
basis of homosexuality/addiction, to the prejudice against gays/addicts,
the social and personal stigma, ostracism and self-ostracism,
to the suicides, the fearful recovering Uncle Toms, gay and addict,
who hide and join the other side, the punishment of gays/addicts
who stand up for themselves and confront punitive and biased authorities,
and the expectations of remorse from gays/addicts to avoid more
punishment. The only thing that's missing, however, is the story
of how addicts managed to put together a civil rights movement
and become accepted for what they are. This hasn't happened yet.
This absence is, of course, what made the movie so touching
and sad to me, as well as so motivating. Addicts are at least
50 years behind the blacks and 30-40 years behind the homosexuals
in demanding acceptance, equality, and justice. As an aside, there
is even a Small People of America uniting and advocating for dwarfs.
I fear that addicts will be the last discriminated against group
to come out of the closet of fear and shame to advocate for themselves,
and for no reason other than ignorance, fear, and superstition.
The N4A is the first organization formed to deal with addiction
issues for addicts and by addicts and, at present, has four members.
I would love to see a movie similar to Blind Faith made to depict
the exact same story-line among hypoics. This might be a first
step in opening the eyes of those fearful recovering people as
well as the ignorant and biased public.